Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > Roleplaying in General

Thread Tools Display Modes
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next
Old 01-30-2023, 01:46 PM   #11
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Does anyone even, like, own rules??

Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
Recipes may fall under trade secrets.
True. But trade secrets have no IP protection. That is, they're secret. If the secret gets out, too bad. So that's a different category than copyright / trademark / patent.

As you point out, it's an irrelevant category for games, as you kind of have to tell people what the rules are for them to be useful. Though there's always that one GM that insists on just doing it all his own mysterious way...

My intended point was merely that if you wanted to protect game mechanics, you could. It's not copyright or nothing. Only a few cases that I know of have done so (Magic: the Gathering, Scrabble, Monopoly...), but it's possible. Also read that some video games have patented mechanics.

Which possibility raises the specter of "defensive patents" for game companies. If owners of D&D never patented those mechanics, then theoretically Paizo (say) could try to patent those used in Pathfinder. And then possibly turn around and sue D&D for using their patented mechanics like "roll d20 plus modifiers over AC to hit". We can of course hope such a lawsuit would fail due to D&D itself being prior art and differences between editions (say, THAC0 or inverting the AC scale) counted as obvious to a practitioner of the art of game design. But we'd only know after an actual court case. So for safety, a lot of companies just patent everything they do just in case, with no intent to use those patents against anyone else, but rather fend off the reverse. That kind of legal expense would be another burden on RPG companies with tiny revenue. So it could just as well to declare the mechanics as open and at least collect the goodwill that might bring.
Anaraxes is online now   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:37 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.